I have felt like absolute crap the past 7 days. Not because of some normal thing like a cold or flu or injury, but because my brain does not send the right messages to the rest of my body. I made mention of this in a past post, so now is as good a time as any to discuss it. I have a debilitating chronic illness called Dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term that literally means “autonomic dysfunction.” In an attempt to avoid doctor speak, my autonomic nervous system (the system that controls the unconscious functions in the body, i.e. Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, temperature control, etc.) is defective. This causes a slew of it’s own uncomfortable symptoms, but as an added bonus, I have a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS for short. Basically, my blood pressure is too low and falls even further when I go from laying or sitting to standing. This in turn causes my heart rate to shoot up in an attempt to push enough blood to my head in order to keep me conscious. My symptoms range too far, too wide, and too deep to list them all here. What I will say is that I’ve been dealing with this for 8 years and it’s not any easier today than it was 8 years ago except for maybe when I feel like I’m dying. Strangely enough, dealing with that feeling now is easier than it used to be because I’ve gotten through it so many times that I am able to talk myself out of believing that I’m dying. But I digress. This condition has wreaked havoc on me physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially…but still I fight on.
The unfortunate reality is that pretty much no one wants to hear that you’re sick or that you can’t do x, y, or z. Even the people who know you’re sick and kind of “get it” manage to find a way to be shocked when they ask how you are and come to find out, you’re still sick. As if you were supposed to have miraculously healed in the time between your last meeting and the moment you reconnected. No one wants to hear that some of us are lucky just to be able to get out of bed in the morning and how even doing that takes a great deal of will, determination, grit, with a large helping of fluids and a cocktail of pills. But I’m sharing nonetheless, because awareness is key in the fight against things that are lesser known. So this is me raising awareness in yet another way.
I know this stretch of bad days will pass and I’ll get to some decent days again, only to once again get to some bad days… The cycle is exhausting and feels like it may be never ending. Anyway, if you have never heard of Dysautonomia or POTS, I urge you to look it up. It is not rare, just not well known. It affects millions and people are finally just learning about it. Perhaps one day soon, I’ll write a more detailed and technical post about it. Today is not that day.
I apologize for this post being less than elegantly crafted…much less. I honestly can barely think right now, as I’m feeling a bit fuzzy. That’s the truth. I haven’t posted in over a week though and just really wanted to get something posted. Writing makes me feel better. So, thanks for reading.